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"Miss Bennet, there seemed to be a prettyish kind of a little wilderness on one side of your lawn. I should be glad to take a turn in it, if you will favor me with your company."
Lady Catherine de Bourgh to Elizabeth Bennet
from Chapter LVI
of Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen
There are those who believe that Lady Catherine was yet again being condescending when she referred to the "wilderness" at one side of the lawn at Longbourn. But in actual fact, her condescension was in the use of the word "little" and the implication that the Bennet's lawn was not as grand as her own estate at Rosings.
The enclosed wilderness at Mr. Rushworth's estate of Sotherton Court is a point of discussion and the setting for some interesting interchanges between various characters in Chapters IX and X of Mansfield Park
. The author of both these novels, Jane Austen
, was well aware that a garden wilderness was not open country when she wrote these novels. She knew that a wilderness was a common feature of many of the larger English gardens during the Regency, just as it had been for at least a century prior to the publication of her books.
Many of these garden wildernesses were related to the evolution of the garden maze. For that reason, this article takes its place as another in my series on mazes
. And now, a wilderness adventure ...
Or, perhaps the panorama
can be considered the Regency version of the IMAX
or even the holodeck
. The panorama was first introduced in London in the late eighteenth century and quickly spread across Europe. These enormous paintings became a popular form of entertainment throughout England and the Continent during the Regency. Yet I have never read a Regency novel in which a panorama plays any part.
A brief history of the origin of the panorama ...
Posted on 04/09/10 at 07:09:00 by Kathryn Kane
As much as I love Regencies, I cannot justify the expense of hard cover editions. I stick to paperbacks. But I can still find some of the old traditionals at Biblio and Alibris for reasonable prices.
I have gotten a couple of Regencies from Cerridwen and Wild Rose, but so many of them are eBook only, and I am a dyed-in-the-wool booklover. No eBooks for me! I have also found so many egregious historical errors in some of them that they were very disappointing. I sometimes wish I was not a historian, then I might not notice. ;-)
I don't think Sandra Heath is still writing, although some of her books are being reissued in harcover and a few are available at regencyreads.com
Traditional Regencies are no longer available in mass-market format. Try the e-pubs--The Wild Rose Press and Cerridwen Cotillion. Depending on the length, the books may be available in paper.
Thanks for the tip about Sandra Heath. I did read one of her traditional Regencies years ago, but did not realize she was still writing. I will make it a point to look for her books the next time I am at the bookstore.
I have to admit, I am finding it harder and harder to find novels with a Regency setting. I am hopeful that there might be more next year, with the upcoming bicentennial of the beginning of the Regency. One can but hope.
Sandra Heath writes Regencies--wonderful, detailed, accurate, and page-turners, too. If you haven't read any of her stories, give them a try. I think you'll like them.
And 99% of what I read is Regencies, too.
That would explain why I did not know about them. I very seldom read anything but Regencies.
Thanks for the heads up. Maybe I will force myself to read them.
I can't quite remember, but I can think of two romances that had panoramas.
SECRETS OF A SUMMER NIGHT, a Victorian by Lisa Kleypas, starts with one.
Also, a Sandra Heath book, I think it's WINTER DREAMS, contains one, where the villain chases the heroine up and down the stairs the customers had to climb to see the various levels of the panorama.
Again, I may be wrong.
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Earlier this year I wrote a brief history of the maze
. I promised to write in more detail about the two most prominent forms of the maze during the English Regency. This week I will concentrate on a maze form which certainly existed during the Regency, though I have yet to see one mentioned in a novel set during that time.
The English turf maze, its origins, its construction and its uses up to and during the Regency ...
|Friday, February 12, 2010|
What could there possibly be to say about the hanging of paintings? One simply hangs them on the wall, ensures they are relatively straight and is done with it. Not really. The way paintings were hung in public art galleries during the Regency is not the same as the way paintings are hung in art galleries and museums in modern times. Should someone from the Regency walk into a museum today, they would be shocked at what they would perceive as the poor use of the space. However, most artists from the Regency would much prefer the way paintings are now typically hung in most galleries and museums.
The display of paintings in Regency art galleries and the now antiquated practice of skying ...
The garden maze has made numerous appearances in a plethora of Regency novels. Often it is the setting for a clandestine romantic tryst or sometimes it is the secret meeting place for the villain and his or her henchman. But regardless of its use, the Regency garden maze was the end of a long tradition of mazes and labyrinths dating back to that very first one, at the Palace of Knossos
, designed by Daedalus
, in which Theseus
vanquished the Minotaur
A brief tracing of the path of the labyrinth and the maze from Crete
to the English Regency pleasure garden ...
Posted on 01/29/10 at 07:29:00 by Kathryn Kane
For anyone who might be interested, the ball of thread which Ariadne gave Theseus is the origin of the word "clue" in the English language. "Clew" in both England and Scotland meant a ball of yarn or thread during the Middle Ages. The word still has the same meaning in parts of Scotland to this day. Over time, the spelling of the word changed to "clue" when it was used with the meaning of a hint or key to the solution of a problem.
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The theatres of the Regency did not only glitter with the talents of the great actors who trod their boards. They also glittered with the presence of the many members of the beau monde
who flocked to the nightly performances during the season. But more germane to the subject of this article, they glittered with light, all the time. The house lights were never dimmed during a performance in any theatre auditorium in Regency England.
Despite the many instances in scores of Regency romance novels I have read over the years in which the theatre house lights dim and some form of seduction ensues in the darkness, it could not have happened. It was physically and technically impossible to dim the house lights of any theatre auditorium during the years of the Regency. And theatre-goers would have been appalled at the very notion. They came to the theatre to see and be seen. The play itself was secondary to the performances going on in the stalls and private boxes.